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Participant Information: Athletes With Disabilities

Boston Marathon Athletes With Disabilities Eligibility and Qualifying Standards

2019 BOSTON MARATHON REGISTRATION FOR ATHLETES WITH DISABILITIES

Registration for Athletes with Disabilities Divisions & Programs (Push Rim Wheelchair, Visually Impaired, Mobility Impaired, Handcycle, and Duo Teams) for the 2019 Boston Marathon opens on Monday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Athletes seeking entrance into an AWD program or division who do not meet their qualification standard and wish to enter via an Invitational Entry should contact athleteswithdisabilities@baa.org for additional information related to specific eligibility requirements and application procedures.

ELIGIBILITY

To register and compete in one of the following divisions or programs reserved for athletes with disabilities, the participant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on race day
  • Possess a permanent physical, intellectual/adaptive, or visual disability that aligns with the eligible impairment types defined by World Para Athletics AND that impacts the individual’s ability to ambulate. (Athletes with acute injuries or temporary conditions are not eligible for AWD divisions/programs)
  • Achieve the marathon qualifying time standard for the respective division/program within the qualifying window on a certified marathon course
  • Complete and submit the online registration form during the specified registration period and agree to the Participant’s Agreement, Waiver, Release & Acknowledgement at time of registration.

B.A.A. policy requires that all participants register themselves, including athletes with disabilities. Should an athlete experience any difficulty with the online registration form, please contact the B.A.A. Registration Office for assistance at (508) 435-6905.

PROOF OF DISABILITY

At time of registration, athletes who register for an AWD division or program must provide proof of disability through at least ONE of the following methods to be eligible for consideration:

  • The athlete holds a current World Para Athletics Classification with an eligible to compete status.
  • The athlete holds a current U.S. Paralympic Classification with an eligible to compete status (U.S. athletes only).
  • The athlete’s disability documentation is currently on file with the B.A.A. and may be reviewed for re-eligibility.
  • The athlete may upload the appropriate disability documentation (see forms below) completed and signed by the athlete’s physician during registration to the B.A.A. Registration Office.
  • The athlete may fax the appropriate disability documentation (see below) completed and signed by the athlete’s physician to the B.A.A. Registration Office at (508) 435-6590.
  • Documentation must be received by October 28th, 2018 or the athlete’s registration may not be processed.

B.A.A. Disability Documentation Form Vision Impairment (PDF)
B.A.A. Disability Documentation Form Physical Impairment (PDF)

The B.A.A. reserves the right to request additional information from an athlete to assist with the eligibility review process as needed.

PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR DIVISION

The Push Rim Wheelchair Division is reserved for athletes who use racing wheelchairs in sport and hold a national or IPC Para Athletics classification T51 – T54. Disability documentation may be used in lieu of classification at the B.A.A.’s discretion. This division follows World Para Athletics Rules and Regulations. Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Wheelchair Division.

Two classes within this division are contested in the Boston Marathon:

  • T51/T52 (Quad) – Partial arm muscle power; no to partial trunk control.
  • T53/T54 (Open) – Normal arm muscle power; partial to normal trunk control. 
     

Athletes who wish to compete in the Push Rim Division of the 2019 Boston Marathon must achieve or better the following qualifying times for their respective age, gender, and classification on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window:

CLASS AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN
T53 and T54 18-39 2hrs 00min 2hrs 25min
40-49 2hrs 15min 2hrs 40min
50-Over 2hrs 30min 2hrs 55min
 
T51 and T52 18-39 2hrs 45min 3hrs 10min
40-49 3hrs 00min 3hrs 25min
50-Over 3hrs 15min 3hrs 40min

Athletes must compete in racing wheelchairs that meet the wheelchair requirement specified by World Para Athletics Rules and Regulations. Qualifying standards are currently under review and are subject to change for future Boston Marathons.

VISUALLY IMPAIRED DIVISION

Athletes who wish to compete in the Visually Impaired Division must have reduced or no vision caused by damage to the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or visual cortex of the brain. The Minimum Impairment Criteria (MIC) for this division is a best correctable visual acuity of less than or equal to LogMAR 1.0 (20/200 or 6/60) in both eyes or a visual field restricted to less than 40 degrees diameter. Athletes must provide vision impairment documentation or hold a national or IPC Para Athletics classification T11, T12, or T13. Athletes that have visual impairments that are correctable with glasses or contacts are not eligible to compete in the Visually Impaired Division.

Classifications within the Visually Impaired Division are as follows:

CLASS PROFILE SNELLEN EQUIVALENT DESCRIPTION
T11 Visual acuity is poorer than LogMAR 2.60 NA No light perception to some light perception; may be able to make out shadows.
T12 Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.50 to 2.60 (inclusive), and/or the visual field is constricted to a diameter of less than 10 degrees. 20/630 – 20/7962 (Feet) 6/189 – 6/2389 (Meters) Very poor visual acuity and/or a severely restricted visual field (e.g. tunnel vision).
T13 Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.40 to 1 (inclusive), and/or the visual field is constricted to a diameter of less than 40 degrees 20/200 – 20/500 (Feet) 6/60 – 6/150 (Meters) Poor visual acuity and/or a restricted visual field.

Visual acuity equivalencies were generated using the Snellen to LogMAR Visual Acuity Calculator.

To qualify for the Visually Impaired Division of the 2019 Boston Marathon, the athlete must have achieved or bettered a qualifying time of five hours (5:00:00) on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window. Qualifying standards are currently under review and are subject to change for future Boston Marathons. Athletes eligible to compete in the Visually Impaired division will be allowed to run with a sighted guide, or up to two sighted guides in relay fashion to complete the marathon course. A guide exchange zone is available near the 20k mark on the course. The athlete must attest that his/her guide(s) can competently perform all guide runner responsibilities at the athlete’s goal running pace. No athlete is permitted to run with two guides at the same time.

MOBILITY IMPAIRED PROGRAM (RUNNERS)

The Mobility Impaired Program is reserved for individuals who possess a permanent physical or intellectual/adaptive disability that impacts the person’s ability to ambulate. The B.A.A. aligns eligibility for the Mobility Impaired Program with the eligible impairment types defined by World Para Athletics. Athletes with acute injuries or temporary conditions are not eligible for this program. 

Athletes who wish to participate in the Mobility Impaired Program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The athlete must possess a permanent physical or intellectual/adaptive disability that aligns with the eligible impairment types defined by World Para Athletics AND that impacts the person’s ability to ambulate.
  • Athletes with acute injuries or temporary conditions are not eligible for this program.
  • To qualify for the Mobility Impaired program of the 2019 Boston Marathon, the athlete must have achieved or bettered a qualifying time of six hours (6:00:00) on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window.

Athletes eligible to participate in the Mobility Impaired program will be allowed to run with one guide, or up to two guides in relay fashion to complete the marathon course. A guide exchange zone is available near the 20k mark on the course. The athlete must attest that his/her guide(s) can competently perform all guide runner responsibilities at the athlete’s goal running pace. No athlete is permitted to run with two guides at the same time. Qualifying standards are currently under review and are subject to change for future Boston Marathons.

HANDCYCLE PROGRAM

The Handcycle Program of the Boston Marathon provides an alternative means of participation for individuals who, due to the nature of their physical disability, are not able to use a racing wheelchair or run with prostheses. The B.A.A. aligns eligibility for the Handcycle Program with the eligible physical impairment types defined by the International Paralympic Committee and Para Cycling. Athletes with acute injuries or temporary conditions are not eligible for this program. Disability documentation is required.

Athletes who wish to participate in the Handcycle Program of the 2019 Boston Marathon must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The athlete must possess a permanent physical disability that impacts the person’s ability to ambulate and aligns with the eligible physical impairment types defined by the International Paralympic Committee for Para Cycling events.
  • For the 2019 Boston Marathon, the athlete must have achieved or bettered the qualifying times in respective gender, age group, and class as outlined in the Push Rim Wheelchair Division on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window. 
  • Able-bodied athletes and athletes with non-physical disabilities are not permitted to participate in the Handcycle Program.
     

Handcycles must meet the general requirements for arm-powered handcycles defined by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Rules and Regulations. No handcycles with motors or pedals are permitted. No other gear, crank, or chain powered cycling equipment is permitted for use by athletes in the Boston Marathon including foot-powered recumbent bikes, tricycles, or bicycles.

The handcycle field will be comprised primarily of U.S. veterans disabled in service to their country, and members of the One Fund Community. The field will also include a limited number of civilian entrants who meet the disability criteria and who have achieved their respective qualifying standard. Qualifying standards specific to the Handcycle Program are currently in development for future Boston Marathons.

DUO TEAMS

A Duo Team is comprised of an officially registered runner pushing a non-ambulatory person with a permanent physical disability in a customized racing wheelchair.

Teams wishing to participate in the Duo Team Program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The Duo Team qualifying standards are the same as the Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards. (Visually impaired and mobility impaired qualifying standards may not be used to qualify for the Duo Team program).
  • The Duo Team must have competed together as a duo team and achieved the Boston Marathon Qualifying Standard for the able-bodied runner’s age and gender on a certified marathon course within the qualifying window.
  • Only the registered runner may push the customized wheelchair and must wear the official bib number. No relay teams will be accepted.
  • The person being pushed must be secured within a customized racing wheelchair throughout the entire race.
  • The person being pushed must be 18-years old at the time of the Boston Marathon.
  • The person being pushed must complete a waiver, release, and acknowledgement prior to the race.
  • No chairs with motors, gears, pedals, or cranks are permitted.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information related to eligibility and qualifying standards for athletes with disabilities, please e-mail athleteswithdisabilities@baa.org. All of the information above is subject to change.

B.A.A. Moment

Athletes With Disabilities

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